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Nation remembers Roxas  on 111th birthday
Published  in the Philippine Inquirer
Jan. 01, 2003

THE NATION marks Wednesday the 111th birth anniversary of Manuel A. Roxas, the last president of the Philippine Commonwealth and the first of the Republic.

Roxas, born in Capiz (now
Roxas City) on Jan. 1, 1892 to Gerardo Roxas and Rosario Acuņa, was a posthumous baby, his father having been killed by Spanish soldiers the April before.

He largely attended the public schools, completing his secondary education at the Manila High School (Araullo High School), graduating with highest honors in 1909.


He graduated from the University of the Philippine College of Law in 1913, again at the head of his class.

Roxas topped the bar exams that year, making him the first bar topnotcher in the
Philippines.

For 36 years, he held various public offices, beginning in 1917 as a member of the Capiz municipal council and culminating when he became President of the country.

 In between, he served as the youngest governor of his province from 1919 to 1922, was elected to the House of Representatives in 1922 where he became speaker for 12 years, became a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1934-35, was secretary of finance, and was chair of National Economic Council and the National Development Co. and other government agencies.

He was also a brigadier general in the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) and a guerilla leader. He was also president of the Philippine Senate.

After serving as Chief Executive for 23 months, President Roxas passed away on
April 15, 1948 at the age of 56.

The late Senate president Gerry Roxas was his son and the present secretary of trade and industry, Manuel A. Roxas II, his namesake, is his grandson.